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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » The "boycott, divestment, sanction" movement against Israel - is it wrong? (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: The "boycott, divestment, sanction" movement against Israel - is it wrong?
no prophet's flag is set so...

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I think it is. Israel is surrounded by hostile countries and groups within them which have wanted to eliminate it since it was founded based on a United Nations resolution. It is the only country that approximates a democracy in the area. Jews were residents of most other countries in the area and now have been pushed out into Israel. Sounds like ethnic cleansing. And who is trying to improve the behaviour of the others in the region?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Missed my link:
The proper response to the BDS movement is not censure, but facts.

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Kaplan Corday
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Israel does not represent a fulfillment of prophecy, does not a enjoy a divine exceptionalism to do what it likes, is not perfect, and is not immune from criticism.

It is, however, in the context of the ME, a beleaguered outpost of pluralist, liberal democratic civilization surrounded by corruption, obscurantism, fanaticism and theocracy - not to mention an openly declared determination to annihilate it and its people.

When supporters of BDS begin to direct even the slightest fraction of their moral indignation against the genuine obscenity of the ME, ie the neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic Islamofascism which Israel is up against, then we might be inclined to begin listening to their complaints about Israel.

[ 15. October 2016, 04:37: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Martin60
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What's that got to do with the fact that the UN, that's the USA and USSR, following on from the insane UK as usual, annexed Arab land by diktat and dumped the neo-Spartan survivors of the Holocaust there?

They're there now and God help us all. We have to guarantee their security against another Holocaust while their presence continues to emasculate the Palestinians.

You'll both be quoting Ayn Rand next.

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Stetson
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quote:
You'll both be quoting Ayn Rand next.

Ayn Rand quotes herself on this issue.

And Phil replies with fervour.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Is there any summary of her comments? Not being able to see a youtube. I am hearing locally what appears to wrong comparison to indigenous people's land rights and apartheid.

This BDS thing seems to come up as univ students get passionate.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Is there any summary of her comments? Not being able to see a youtube. I am hearing locally what appears to wrong comparison to indigenous people's land rights and apartheid.

This BDS thing seems to come up as univ students get passionate.

Her comments were the typical rationale for imperialism, ie. the Palestinians are all primitive savages, and the Israelis are beacons of civilization, developing the area from scratch.

I didn't re-watch all of Donahue's rebuttal, but as I recall he basically calls her remarks racist, and says the Paletinians have a good case on their side.

I didn't post the video because I thought what Rand said was really worth a thoughtful analysis, it was just that Martin mentioned people quoting her, so I thought it was interesting that she had actually made comments on Israel/Palestine, and quite publically.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Missed my link:
The proper response to the BDS movement is not censure, but facts.

If you are concerned about facts, why did you link to pure rhetoric?
Israel are behaving badly. There is no question about this. If there is a proper solution, it involves cooperation and a balance of rights, not "Israel, right or wrong".

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Martin60
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I heard Menachem Begin on BBC Radio 4's World At One in the summer of 1980, in response to Jimmy Carter's, attempts to move the ME forward, say that if Israel was abandoned by the US, they would bring down the temple of humanity.

They can.

400 times.

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Love wins

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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The problem with the focus on Israel is that it negects all the other countries in the region. Tell me one which behaves itself.

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\_(ツ)_/

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HCH
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Two of Israel's neighbors are Jordan and Egypt. As far as I can recall, Israel and Egypt still have a peace treaty--for decades--while Jordan seems to be about as well-behaved as one can expect given that they are inundated with refugees. While there are various nations that declare their opposition to Israel, most of them are not Israel's immediate neighbors.

The problems I mostly hear about for Israel are internal.

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Kaplan Corday
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Criticising support for Israel on the grounds that Ayn Rand supported it is about as valid as rejecting vegetarianism because Hitler supported it.
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Arethosemyfeet
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Criticising Israel for its policies of ethnically cleansing Palestine and repeated violations of international law as regards the behaviour of occupying powers is, on the other hand, entirely reasonable. And while, yes, activist movements are focussed on Israel more than, say, Saudi Arabia, that has a lot to do with the fact that criticising Saudi Arabia gets a lot of nods of agreement, and doesn't generally result in apologists crawling out the woodwork and accusing critics of Islamophobia. Many of the same activists involved in supporting a free and sovereign Palestine are also involved in groups like CAAT who are calling for far tighter controls on sales of weapons to, for example, the Saudis.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The problem with the focus on Israel is that it negects all the other countries in the region. Tell me one which behaves itself.

So, you suggest that the Palestinians should shut up until the West decides to stop supporting the Saudis/Bahrain etc?
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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No. I am suggesting that it is unreasonable to criticise Israel and advocate actions against it, unless there is balance of criticism and actions against the other countries in the region.

I also don't think the "right of return" and related simple minded ideas are realistic at all. It might sound fair, but not realistic. It would destroy the state of Israel.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
No. I am suggesting that it is unreasonable to criticise Israel and advocate actions against it, unless there is balance of criticism and actions against the other countries in the region.

This effectively amounts to the same thing; the reality is that everyone has to pick the cause they wish to work on; and as was said above a significant number of the campaigners are also involved in things like CAAT. [and incidentally, where was your thread opposing the settler movement? Which at least has the power of the regions largest army behind it.]

[FWIW I oppose BDS, I think it ranges from incoherent to silly].

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Israel does not represent a fulfillment of prophecy, does not a enjoy a divine exceptionalism to do what it likes, is not perfect, and is not immune from criticism.

It is, however, in the context of the ME, a beleaguered outpost of pluralist, liberal democratic civilization surrounded by corruption, obscurantism, fanaticism and theocracy - not to mention an openly declared determination to annihilate it and its people.

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I also don't think the "right of return" and related simple minded ideas are realistic at all. It might sound fair, but not realistic. It would destroy the state of Israel.

These two ideas, posted by two different shipmates, would seem to be at odds with each other. The first posits an Israel that is "pluralist", the latter suggests that having too many non-Jews in Israel would "destroy" it.

[ 16. October 2016, 03:08: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Gee D
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The far right here is in a cleft stick: to be anti-semitic is normally anti-Israel, but then then backers of that campaign are even more unspeakably Muslim and Arab. Then the Trot-left is anti-Israeli, with strong anti-semitic overtones as well. The Greens in NSW tend to the Trot-left end of the spectrum (not so in all other States); they gained control of an inner-Sydney council and proceeded to venture into the foreign policy field by pushing the anti-Israeli line with boycotts. In this instance a lot of statements were not limited to overtones, but were stridently and directly anti-semitic. Very nasty stuff, and far away from organising garbage removals, public libraries, street maintenance and all the other boring details that are the proper remit of a local council.

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Kaplan Corday
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Anyone who is perplexed about the issue of pluralism, Israel, and its neighbours, might like to ask themselves the question as to which country in the ME it would be safest for them to identify publicly as gay.
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lilBuddha
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So, The UK, US and Australia are pluralist. You are saying this means they cannot be criticised on any abuses then?

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Anyone who is perplexed about the issue of pluralism, Israel, and its neighbours, might like to ask themselves the question as to which country in the ME it would be safest for them to identify publicly as gay.

So it's ok for Israel to be racist because it's not (very) homophobic? Some interesting logic there.

[ 16. October 2016, 05:44: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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lilBuddha
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It would be ever so helpful if someone could provide a list, or perhaps a table, which can be referenced as to who must be criticised first/concurrently with whom. Criteria for judging particular subjects, past indiscretions, hmmm, perhaps a database with customisable reports?

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Anyone who is perplexed about the issue of pluralism, Israel, and its neighbours, might like to ask themselves the question as to which country in the ME it would be safest for them to identify publicly as gay.

This is like arguing that it was better to be a woman in 1970s USSR than in 1970s Afghanistan, therefore the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was okay.

[ 16. October 2016, 06:51: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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fletcher christian

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Far too much time and energy is spent on discerning who is more right. If everyone spent even half the time and energy on bringing something constructive to the table we'd already be much further down the road.

I always loath these debates about who is right and who is wrong and who is more evil and who is more righteous. I lived through that kind of bullshit as a child during the troubles in Northern Ireland and guess what; not one single, solitary point won in any of those stupid arguments ever contributed anything to peace.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Anyone who is perplexed about the issue of pluralism, Israel, and its neighbours, might like to ask themselves the question as to which country in the ME it would be safest for them to identify publicly as gay.

This is like arguing that it was better to be a woman in 1970s USSR than in 1970s Afghanistan, therefore the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was okay.
Only if you ignore every other conceivable factor in the equation.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
So it's ok for Israel to be racist

First Israel is not racist, and secondly, anyone with the slightest genuine interest in racism would be concentrating on the treatment of Jews in other ME countries, and the anti-Semitism of the West's media and academe.
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Alan Cresswell

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The state of Israel doesn't hide the fact that it has, for a long time, occupied territory that is rightfully part of other nations. That is not right. Control of the Golan Heights has been returned to Syria, southern Lebanon to Lebanon, Sinai to Egypt. But, that still leaves the West Bank (part of the original Palestinian mandate, briefly controlled by Jordan) and Gaza.

The state of Israel has, for a long time, encouraged Israeli citizens to build settlements in these occupied territories. That is not right.

I can see no justification for either practice. There may have been justification of a "buffer zone" between Israel and it's enemies at one time that could have justified the occupation. But, since that territory borders nations now at peace with Israel, and who pose no threat to Israel, then that is no longer justified.

These are the actions of nominally pluralist, secular, democratic state. Criticising them is no more anti-semitic than criticism of Chinese occupation of the territory of other asian countries is racist.

The question is how to put right the wrongs in the region. The simplest would be to re-create the Palestinian State along line originally proposed, of the entire West Bank and Gaza (probably with some joint administration of Jerusalem), giving Israeli citizens in that area the opportunity to move back inside Israel or become Palestinian citizens. And, there would need to be some impartial commission to administer disputed land ownership, with many of the settlements built on land that belongs to someone else. That, IMO, is the right thing to do. It, of course, needs a stable and moderate Palestinian government with sufficient power to suppress those who would seek to continue the war against Israel - and, at present, Israeli policy is working against that by continuing to undermine moderate elements within Hamas, simply because they are Hamas. The ongoing settlement programme, with suppression of the human rights of the Palestinian people serves only to encourage Palestinian extremists.

But, at the end of the day a consumer boycott of Israeli goods is largely symbolic - though a symbol that would be appreciated by the Palestinian people (going by the appreciation of black people in South Africa under apartheid). Sanctions that stop the flow of military technology into Israel would weaken the hi-tech end of the military, but isn't going to stop the occupation which uses bulldozers not state of the art missiles (even military operations in Gaza have not depended on the high tech gadgets). So, that would also be largely symbolic.

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Martin60
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This is instituonal racism by Israel.

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mr cheesy
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I really can't be bothered to argue the toss about Israel - because so often people talk so much shite about it.

But what interests me is how the dynamics of the BDS campaign is actually working. On the one hand, calling for a boycott of something is seen as a massive threat to the Establishment in Israel that they're working overtime to discredit it, even to the extent of arguing, inanely, that the very idea of a boycott is anti-Semitic.

Which is utterly ridiculous, boycott is a tactic used by many different people over the years for many different purposes - one can easily point to anti-Jewish boycotts as to anti-British, anti-Gypsy and anti-lotsofotherthings boycotts.

Second, whilst the Israeli government and apologists are getting their knickers in a twist about this, they're not (a) doing anything to sort the problem out and (b) they're wasting a lot of time and effort on something that clearly isn't working very well anyway. There is no sense that the BDS campaign is having anything like the impact that the South African cultural boycott had.

On the other hand, those who are most supportive of the BDS campaign seem unable to see anything beyond the end of their own noses. Unlike South Africa, the Palestinian economy is entirely - something over 90% - dependent on Israel. To not buy Israeli is to not buy Palestinian, further destroying the thing that they say that they're supporting.

The whole thing is a total carcrash both ways around, meanwhile the life chances and lot of the average Palestinian just keeps getting worse - and significant issues within the Israeli state (the Arab minority, African refugees, totally bankrupt and misogynist society, a underclass which is totally sidelined and increasing in size) is largely ignored.

Finally, let's just shut up with all this "youb don't talk about x country therefore you can't talk about Israel" bollocks. When was the last time you spent any time talking about Uzbekistan? Never, I'd warrant. Therefore, according to you, you've no right to talk about abuses in Syria.

Gibberish.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
So it's ok for Israel to be racist

First Israel is not racist,

unless you're an Arab whether Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian or whatever.
quote:


and secondly, anyone with the slightest genuine interest in racism would be concentrating on the treatment of Jews in other ME countries, and the anti-Semitism of the West's media and academe.

Racism elsewhere does not preclude opposing the deliberate cruelty of the current Israeli government against Palestinians, including the theft of what little remains of their territory. That's what BDS tries to do, although if Western media was truly anti-Semitic, the BDS campaign would be doing far better.

If you want to discuss racism elsewhere in the Middle East don't throw tangents here, start another thread.

[ 16. October 2016, 11:43: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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Ronald Binge
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Far too much time and energy is spent on discerning who is more right. If everyone spent even half the time and energy on bringing something constructive to the table we'd already be much further down the road.

I always loath these debates about who is right and who is wrong and who is more evil and who is more righteous. I lived through that kind of bullshit as a child during the troubles in Northern Ireland and guess what; not one single, solitary point won in any of those stupid arguments ever contributed anything to peace.

Amen to that. I tune out the clueless self-righteousness that characterises any discussion of Israel and Palestine in Ireland.
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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
So it's ok for Israel to be racist

First Israel is not racist, and secondly, anyone with the slightest genuine interest in racism would be concentrating on the treatment of Jews in other ME countries, and the anti-Semitism of the West's media and academe.
If there's a huge lobby defending anti-Semitism I've missed it. Western media is notoriously pro-Israel, so it's hard to see where you're building an allegation of generalised anti-Semitism.
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Gramps49
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My son lived one year in Ramallah and will be returning to it shortly, even though it will be a short trip.

He will tell you the Israeli government is racist, though he knows many Israeli people are not.

It hides behind the fundamentalist Christian bodies who say there has to be another temple built before the end of time.

I object to the US supplying 38 billion dollars in military aid to a government that will use it to continue to supress the Palestinian government.

Great book to read about this is The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan.

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Kaplan Corday
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The morality and wisdom of some of Israel's policies might be questionable, but given that it lives on the edge of existence, the moralistic arrogance of its pontificating critics living in safe, secure Western countries is breathtaking.

Given that Jews have lived in the land for millennia and have every right to be there; that their nation has every right to existence and security; that there was a realistic attempt to exterminate them within living memory; and that they are currently surrounded by lunatics who would like to exterminate them on racial and religious grounds, it is unbelievable what an open, liberal and progressive society Israel is.

And there is every justification for drawing attention to the failures of other countries in the region, and the disproportionate degree of criticism which the attract, given that they are Israel's immediate and hostile neighbours.

As for complaining about the size of its armed forces, that is the snivelling self-pity of all bullies when their victim is forced to learn to fight and to hit back - at REAL racism, exemplified by Nazi collaborators such as Mufti Amin al-Husseini, who would have liked to strangle the nation at birth.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

Given that Jews have lived in the land for millennia and have every right to be there; that their nation has every right to existence and security; that there was a realistic attempt to exterminate them within living memory; and that they are currently surrounded by lunatics who would like to exterminate them on racial and religious grounds, it is unbelievable what an open, liberal and progressive society Israel is.

That's ok then - we'll arbitrarily decide tomorrow that people who haven't lived in the land you live on for nearly a thousand years are entitled to it and move you out, bulldoze your home, delegitimise your state, force you to go to live in an open-air prison and make your life uncomfortable.

And then we'll see if you want to call that state you never asked for a liberal democracy.

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arse

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Martin60
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Until 1539 the Jewish population of Palestine was 3%, by 1690 it dropped to 1%, it took until 1947 for it to double to one third from the 1931 figure. Christians outnumbered Jews until 1900.

The British changed all that in WWI due to the insanity of Balfour, an anti-Semitic Anglo Israelite.

The rest is non-Muslim, non-local imperialist history too.

There is no 'solution' but a massive, permanent (centuries) UN BOTG one that will never happen.

As long as America cares if Israel starts WWIII, we will have what we have.

Until the global inequalities end the world order.

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Love wins

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Moo

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# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Until 1539 the Jewish population of Palestine was 3%, by 1690 it dropped to 1%, it took until 1947 for it to double to one third from the 1931 figure. Christians outnumbered Jews until 1900.

Who took the censuses?

Moo

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Callan
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The thing is we are where we are. There isn't a viable prospect of a peace deal for the region which doesn't involve the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The thing is we are where we are. There isn't a viable prospect of a peace deal for the region which doesn't involve the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Which isn't really disputed by anyone. Indeed, all of the Palestinian groups have called for negotiation with Israel based on the 1967 green line, and the only reason that hasn't happened is that the Israeli state wants to continue expanding illegally into occupied Palestinian Territory.

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arse

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, we are where we are, and Israel is in a dominant position. Presumably, it will carry on occupying Palestinian land, after all, who is going to stop it, as long as the US keeps the money flowing? Israel has won, the Palestinians are reduced to a non-state and a non-people. I suppose people are bound to protest, but ineffectually really.

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The thing is we are where we are. There isn't a viable prospect of a peace deal for the region which doesn't involve the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Which isn't really disputed by anyone. Indeed, all of the Palestinian groups have called for negotiation with Israel based on the 1967 green line, and the only reason that hasn't happened is that the Israeli state wants to continue expanding illegally into occupied Palestinian Territory.
All of them? Really?

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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When I used to regularly travel to the Palestinian Authority controlled area, almost a decade ago now, I couldn't help think that they were trying to do the impossible and resist a power that couldn't be resisted.

I think in the long run the hardliners in Israel would only be happy if Palestinians were removed permanently and entirely from the whole area.

Of course, one could say the reverse about some of the Palestinian hardliners - the difference being that the Palestinian hardliners are mostly trapped in Gaza or in prison whereas the Israeli hardliners are in government.

A few more decades of increasing pressure and I think Palestinians will increasingly take options to move to South America or anywhere else that is offered to them.

Of course, the problem is much wider than that, and given all the religious crap that is spoken about a bunch of old stones in Jerusalem, it is hard to see how any solution could be tolerated by all the others.

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arse

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Until 1539 the Jewish population of Palestine was 3%, by 1690 it dropped to 1%, it took until 1947 for it to double to one third from the 1931 figure. Christians outnumbered Jews until 1900.

Who took the censuses?

Moo

Tax collectors are always good at that sort of thing. The Ottoman registers are superbly detailed.

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Love wins

Posts: 17007 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
All of them? Really?

Well Fatah and Hamas have both got de-facto policies of recognising the existence of Israel as a state within the 1967 borders.

In Hamas' case this is more to do with accepting realities than with a change in their ideology - Tel Aviv isn't going away, the chances of anyone returning all of Israel to Palestinian hands is non-existent.

They're both much softer positions, namely that the territories listed by the UN as being Occupied Palestinian Territories belong to Palestinians and that if Israel was to retreat back to the 1967 border there would be no choice but to accept it as a neighbour.

In practice that's not happening any time soon.

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arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Isn't it true that the only thing that has brought any form of "recognition" for Israel is from the neighbouring countries is that they have been defeated in wars?

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mr cheesy
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The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 offered full recognition of Israel if it withdrew to the 1967 borders. It didn't so they didn't.

I'm not saying that the Arab states are blameless in this - they've treated the Palestinians as political footballs in their ongoing issues with Israel.

However, if Israel actually took them on their word and withdrew to the 1967 borders, their bluff would be called.

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arse

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Isn't it true that the only thing that has brought any form of "recognition" for Israel is from the neighbouring countries is that they have been defeated in wars?

Isn't that going to be the case for any state created by terrorist action and the expulsion of the bulk of the native population?
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Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
This is instituonal racism by Israel.

And Israel still operates the Ottoman Millet system, whereby religion determines the civil laws regarding "property and civil rights" that apply. Israel does not have one universal civil law for everyone. And this is how the Law of Return works, as it only applies to the Jewish Millet.

So yes, Israel is plainly not a liberal democracy at very fundamental levels.

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Moo

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# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Until 1539 the Jewish population of Palestine was 3%, by 1690 it dropped to 1%, it took until 1947 for it to double to one third from the 1931 figure. Christians outnumbered Jews until 1900.

Who took the censuses?

Moo

Tax collectors are always good at that sort of thing. The Ottoman registers are superbly detailed.
Do the Ottoman registers cover 1539 and 1690?

Moo

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Posts: 20258 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Isn't it true that the only thing that has brought any form of "recognition" for Israel is from the neighbouring countries is that they have been defeated in wars?

Isn't that going to be the case for any state created by terrorist action and the expulsion of the bulk of the native population?
No. That doesn't work. Israel was created by international law by the UN. Only to be promptly attacked by all of the countries around it. How many of these wars does it take to learn to pre-empt attacks? Then it negotiated with the willing and maintained threats against the unwilling. Which it continues to do. Because this is the only thing thus far that has resulted in any form of security. I'm not saying it's all well, right and good. But saying it is the facts as it seems Israel understands them. Does this mean that it should hold on to the captured territories? Probably not. But the history makes it understandable.

Wondering also if having an enemy in Israel serves the neighbouring countries, to deflect from their dictatorships and human rights deficiencies.

How is it that Jordan isn't considered the Palestinian state, and that is the basis of 2 state solution: Israel and Jordan? No doubt there are some reasons for this, but are they good ones?

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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